Leicester City, West Ham and Valencia all tried to sign Mohamed Elneny from Arsenal during the transfer window, according to the midfielder's agent.

Elneny swapped Arsenal for Besiktas on a season-long loan in August after falling down the midfield pecking order at Emirates Stadium.

The Egypt international was also said to be wanted by other clubs, while reports in Italy this week suggested AC Milan may make an approach in the January window.

"He received a lot of offers last summer, led by Leicester City, West Ham and Valencia, but Besiktas managed to settle the deal with Arsenal," agent Alan Nazmy told Egyptian TV channel Time Sport.

"Milan and Roma previously tried to sign the player during the last winter transfer window, but the negotiations didn't work then, and he received more than one offer as well."

Asked about fresh rumoured interest from Milan, Nazmy said: "I can't talk about it."

Elneny made 89 appearances for Arsenal in all competitions after joining from Swiss side FC Basel in 2016, including 17 outings last season.

Arsenal boss Unai Emery allowed the 27-year-old to leave following the arrival of Dani Ceballos and emergence of academy product Joe Willock, but the door has not been closed on a return next year.

"Emery didn't ask for his departure from Arsenal because of his performance," Nazmy said. "He demanded that [Elneny] took a chance to develop his performance and return again.

"It is possible for him to play with Arsenal again. It still remains a strong possibility."

James Maddison has withdrawn from the England squad due to illness, the Football Association (FA) has confirmed.

Attacking midfielder Maddison has enjoyed a sparkling start to the 2019-20 season with Leicester City and was expected to make his England debut in the upcoming internationals against the Czech Republic and Bulgaria.

The 22-year-old's form has been so impressive that strong transfer links with Manchester United and other clubs have started to circulate.

But his wait for a first senior England cap must continue and he will return to Leicester.

Gareth Southgate has opted against calling up a replacement, as he did when Everton's Fabian Delph withdrew because of a hamstring injury on Monday, leaving him with a 23-man squad for the two Euro 2020 qualifiers.

England face the Czech Republic in Prague on Friday, before travelling to Sofia three days later.

Rebekah Vardy has denied leaking private Instagram stories from Coleen Rooney to a national newspaper, in a startling case of claim and counter-claim between the wives of two former England strikers.

Rooney, who is married to England's record scorer Wayne Rooney, posted a tweet on Wednesday in which she revealed how she came to suspect Vardy, who denies any wrongdoing.

In the message, she said Vardy – wife of Leicester City's Jamie Vardy – held the only account that had access to her Instagram stories.

Rooney said she had removed access to all users except Rebekah Vardy, and alleged a series of "false" stories that she posted on there found their way to UK tabloid The Sun.

Rebekah Vardy responded by tweeting a lengthy message to Coleen Rooney, who she claimed to have discussed the matter with on the phone, to reject the claim.

"This has been a burden in my life for a few years now and finally I have got to the bottom of it……" Coleen Rooney tweeted, along with an image of a longer statement.

Coleen Rooney's statement read: "For a few years now, someone who I trusted to follow me on my personal Instagram account has been consistently informing The SUN newspaper of my private posts and stories.

"There has been so much information given to them about me, my friends and my family – all without my permission or knowledge.

"After a long time of trying to figure out who it could be, for various reasons, I had a suspicion.

"To try and prove this I came up with an idea. I blocked everyone from viewing my Instagram stories except ONE account. (Those on my private account must have been wondering why I haven't had stories on there for a while.)

"Over the past five months I have posted a series of false stories to see if they made their way into the Sun newspaper. And you know what, they did! The story about gender selection in Mexico, the story about returning to TV and then the latest story about the basement flooding in my new house.

"It's been tough keeping it to myself and not making any comment at all, especially when the stories have been leaked, however I had to. Now I know for certain which account/individual it's come from.

"I have saved and screenshotted all the original stories which clearly show just one person has viewed them.

"It's………. Rebekah Vardy's account."

In a tweeted reply, Rebekah Vardy said she had never passed on such information – despite claiming to have been approached to do so by journalists.

She blamed "various people having access to my insta" and was "disgusted" to have to deny involvement at a time when she was "heavily pregnant".

"As I have just said to you on the phone, I wish you had called me if you thought this," Rebekah Vardy's statement read.

"I never speak to anyone about you as various journalists who have asked me to over the years can vouch for.

"If you thought this was happening you could have told me & I could have changed my passwords to see if it stopped.

"Over the years various people have had access to my insta and just this week I found I was following people I didn't know and have never followed myself.

"I'm not being funny but I don't need the money, what would I gain from selling stories on you?

"I liked you a lot Coleen & I'm upset you have chosen to do this, especially when I'm heavily pregnant. I'm disgusted that I'm even having to deny this.

"You should have called me the first time this happened."

Rooney, who is also Manchester United's record goalscorer, will return to English football following his time with MLS team DC United when he joins Championship club Derby County in January.

Vardy has scored five Premier League goals for Leicester this season, with Brendan Rodgers' men riding high in fourth position.

Marco Giampaolo's time at AC Milan could already be over and the Serie A giants are considering replacements.

Milan overcame Genoa for their third win in seven league games this season, but they are still struggling in 13th in the table.

Giampaolo's stint at the helm at San Siro may be over already after just over three months in charge.

 

TOP STORY – MILAN CONSIDER GIAMPAOLO'S FUTURE WITH PIOLI, SPALLETTI FAVOURITES

Milan are leaning towards sacking Giampaolo despite the win over Genoa, according to CalcioMercato.

SempreMilan reports the club almost sacked Giampaolo at half-time, when the side were trailing before fighting back.

According to Sky Sport, former Inter coaches Stefano Pioli and Luciano Spalletti are favourites for the Milan job.

 

ROUND-UP

- Looking to strengthen in January, Manchester United sent scouts to watch Lyon forward Moussa Dembele against Saint-Etienne on Sunday, according to the Daily Mail. Dembele came off the bench for struggling Lyon in the 1-0 loss.

- Juventus and Inter look set to battle for the Serie A title and they could be fighting elsewhere too. La Gazzetta dello Sport reports the Italian giants are set to fight to sign Fiorentina forward Federico Chiesa and Brescia midfielder Sandro Tonali.

- Leicester City are looking for a replacement for Ben Chilwell as they prepare for clubs to bid for the left-back, according to The Sun, which links Manchester City and Chelsea with £50million moves for the England international.

- Out to improve their defence, Arsenal are targeting Wolves centre-back Willy Boly, according to The Sun. A France youth international, Boly joined Wolves from Porto, initially on loan before the move was made permanent last year.

- Newcastle United could make a move for Nottingham Forest centre-back Joe Worrall in January, The Sun reports. Worrall, 22, is coming out of contract at season's end and the Premier League club could land him on the cheap in early 2020.

Could we have seen a potentially decisive weekend in the Premier League title race?

Liverpool opened an eight-point lead over Manchester City at the summit as James Milner's last-gasp penalty secured a precious 2-1 win over Leicester City on Saturday.

The Reds moved eight points clear with the last-gasp triumph – and City were unable to cut into it as they slipped to a shock 2-0 defeat at home to Wolves on Sunday.

As for Manchester United, their torrid recent form continued with a 1-0 defeat at Newcastle United, while struggling Tottenham were on the end of a resounding 3-0 loss at Brighton and Hove Albion.

Our Premier League Data Diary sheds some light on the detail behind the big stories of this weekend's top games.

 

REDS LEAVE IT LATE TO MAINTAIN PERFECT START

Victory over Leicester means Liverpool have now won their past 17 Premier League games, just one short of Manchester City's top-flight record of 18.

They have also become just the seventh side in history to win each of their opening eight matches in an English top-flight season.

The Reds forged ahead through Sadio Mane's 50th league goal for the club in what was his 100th appearance in the competition for Jurgen Klopp's side.

James Maddison gave the Foxes hope of a point, though, with their first and only shot on target.

However, Milner stepped up deep into added time to seal yet another win for the hosts. It marked the 34th time they have scored a winning goal in a Premier League match in or after the 90th minute, which is at least nine more than any other team

TRAORE DOUBLE DOWNS INSIPID CITY

City were failed to respond to Liverpool's victory, slipping to just a fourth home league defeat in 61 matches under Pep Guardiola.

It was the first time they have lost a Premier League match at the Etihad Stadium without scoring since March 2016, when they were beaten 1-0 by neighbours Manchester United.

Wolves were indebted to a superb double from Adama Traore inside the final 10 minutes to claim their second league win of the season. Remarkably, he had failed to score in his previous 32 Premier League matches.

The result marked the first time Wolves have beaten City away from home in a top-flight fixture since December 1979.

LONGSTAFF PILES MISERY ON SOLSKJAER

United's woeful start to the season reached a new low on Sunday. The sorry defeat at Newcastle means they have won a mere nine points from their opening eight games – their lowest total at this stage since the 1989-90 campaign.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's beleaguered squad are now winless in their last eight away league games – their longest such run in the top flight since September 1989, when they went 11 games without victory.

Under-pressure Newcastle boss Steve Bruce, meanwhile, can celebrate after registering his first ever win as a manager against the club he served as a player, doing so at the 23rd attempt.

Victory came courtesy of Matty Longstaff's drilled effort 18 minutes from time, the 19-year-old becoming the youngest player to score on his Premier League debut for Newcastle.

SEAGULLS SWOOP TO TAKE ADVANTAGE

Tottenham's defeat at Brighton means they have now lost 17 games in all competitions in 2019 – more than any other top-flight side.

Brighton went ahead after just three minutes, Neal Maupay nodding in after Hugo Lloris fumbled a cross - injuring himself in the process. Only Asmir Begovic (21) has made more errors leading to goals than Lloris (18) in the Premier League since his debut in the competition in October 2012.

Nineteen-year-old Aaron Connolly then added two more either side of the interval to seal a memorable win for the hosts. The Irishman is the first teenager to start a Premier League game for Brighton and also the first to score in the league for the Seagulls since Jake Forster-Caskey in April 2014.

The win equalled Brighton's biggest margin of victory in a top-flight game and meant they scored more than once in a league home game for the first time in 16 matches.

Sadio Mane said Liverpool deserved an "emotional" Premier League victory over Leicester City that kept the Reds soaring clear at the top.

Mane gave Jurgen Klopp's men the lead at Anfield on Saturday by converting a superb pass from James Milner, but James Maddison levelled in the 80th minute.

A draw at home to the Foxes in January damaged Liverpool's 2018-19 title bid, contributing to Manchester City being able to retain their title by a single point.

But Liverpool this time extended their winning run to 17 Premier League matches thanks to a penalty converted by Milner in the fifth minute of added time.

Albrighton tangled with Mane in the box and after the Senegal international went down, referee Chris Kavanagh pointed to the spot with the decision ratified by VAR.

Mane, who also opened the scoring against Leicester in that January meeting, conceded Brendan Rodgers' visiting team tested Liverpool on the Northern Irishman's Anfield return.

"Emotional today," Mane told Liverpool's official website. "To be honest, I think it was a really, really tough game. We knew that before and expected it.

"We played in the Champions League [on Wednesday against Mane's old club Salzburg] and now we carry on with this intense game. But it's normal, it's the Premier League and we have to expect it all the time.

"At the end of the day, the most important thing is the three points, it doesn't matter how tired we are. 

"I think it would have been so important for us to keep managing the game, but sometimes it's not easy because Leicester is a very, very good team and caused us many problems.

"They equalised the game and that's why in football you never give up, that's what we try to do as a team.

"At the end of the game, we got a penalty. To be honest, we just have to say we deserved to win this game."

Liverpool's win nudged them eight points clear of defending league champions City, who were in action and looking to cut that deficit at home against Wolves on Sunday.

Leicester City have asked police to investigate after Hamza Choudhury was targeted with racial abuse on social media.

Discriminatory comments about the midfielder were made online following Leicester's 2-1 loss to Liverpool in the Premier League on Saturday.

Choudhury, 22, was involved in a controversial incident late in the match as he was booked for a lunging challenge on Mohamed Salah.

A Leicester spokesman said: "We are appalled by these comments, which the club has reported to the police and to the social media platform on which they were made.

"Discriminatory behaviour has no place in football or in society and we will seek the strongest possible course of action to be taken against those responsible."

Choudhury replaced James Maddison when coming off the bench at Anfield before being shown a yellow card for his tackle on Salah.

Egypt international Salah limped out of the game in stoppage time, with Choudhury's challenge leaving Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp unimpressed.

"He should know better," Klopp told Sky Sports. "You cannot only go for the man [and receive] a yellow card."

Brendan Rodgers felt Liverpool were fortunate to be awarded the penalty that led to their 95th-minute winner in a game in which he believes Leicester City held their own.

Liverpool led at the break through Sadio Mane but passed up several chances to increase their advantage, leading to James Maddison levelling 10 minutes from time.

But the Premier League leaders rallied and Mane won a stoppage-time penalty as he tangled with Marc Albrighton, with James Milner clinical from the spot.

Rodgers described the award as "very soft" and suggested the VAR, with approved the referee's decision, would not have overturned the call if it had gone Leicester's way.

"To concede a 95th-minute penalty was difficult to take," the former Liverpool boss said. "I thought we deserved a point from the game.

"You come to the European champions and you have to be resilient and deal with moments of pressure and show your own qualities. I felt we did that.

"To come from behind, it looked as the half wore on, I thought we could go on and win the game. We conceded a goal when we were in control of the situation.

"I thought it was a very soft penalty - I didn't think it was a clear and obvious penalty, that's for sure. But when the referee gives it, it's probably hard for the VAR to go against it. It was disappointing.

"But I'm very proud of the team and the personality we showed against a top-class side with so many qualities. To come here and be that competitive, it shows we are very much on the right path."

He added on Mane's role in the penalty: "I think he has made the most of the contact. We're in control of the situation.

"Strikers now, modern strikers, they are clever. He has had a touch and gone over. If the referee didn't give it, I don't think anyone would have said it was a clear and obvious error. Unfortunately, it went against us."

Another of several late flashpoints saw Hamza Choudhury booked for a challenge on Mohamed Salah that saw the Liverpool man hobble off with an apparent ankle issue.

Jurgen Klopp was critical of Choudhury, who has been involved in similar previous incidents with Jonathan Bamba and Matt Ritchie, but Rodgers leapt to his defence.

"I don't think it was an overly bad challenge," Rodgers said. "Mo Salah is coming inside and the speed he travels and Hamza is coming back, there is a clash.

"I'm not sure if it looks like a dead leg or whatever? I have tried to look at it again on the images but the camera is quite a way away.

"The emotion of the game, at that time, it might seem worse than it was. He was just getting himself back. Mo Salah cuts across him and there's a collision.

"He's an honest boy, Hamza, he makes challenges, he's aggressive but I don't think there was anything malicious."

Ayoze Perez and Andy Robertson also clashed at the final whistle, yet Rodgers dismissed the incident as "nothing".

Jurgen Klopp is not concerned about maintaining Liverpool's outstanding winning run, acknowledging it means little just eight games into the Premier League season.

The Reds have won 17 consecutive top-flight matches - one short of the all-time record - and moved eight points clear of Manchester City, who are yet to play this weekend, as they defeated Leicester City 2-1 at Anfield.

But with a long way to go still in Liverpool's pursuit of a first league title since 1990, Klopp is instead focusing on each individual match in turn.

The Liverpool boss believes his players are doing likewise, recognising their effort in chasing a late victory after James Maddison equalised for Leicester following Sadio Mane's opener.

Speaking at a news conference following James Milner's 95th-minute penalty winner, Klopp said: "We respect the hard work we have to do. It's so far, so good, but there are 30 games to come.

"We are not fussed really by the situation when people talk to us about the winning streak or whatever, not really.

"We are in a game, then you can see the boys today did not look for a second like a team who have won so many games they don't have the desire anymore to win another one. They looked like they'd never won a game. I loved that.

"Then, in the stadium, the atmosphere was brilliant, at 1-1, everything was positive in the stadium - that's so helpful. It was a really good performance all over from the Liverpool family.

"Now the boys travel literally all over the world [for the international break] and hopefully they come back healthy before we prepare for Manchester United."

Klopp suggested Liverpool's perfect start to the season had come by adopting a game-by-game approach, rather than worrying about the run ending as it almost did on Saturday.

"We don't play for keeping the winning streak alive - we just want to win the football game," he said. "You have to respect all the things, defend your opponent, blah, blah, blah.

"If winning eight games in a row was easy, a lot of teams would do it. It is not easy in this league, with all the opponents we have. It's not easy, it's really difficult."

Liverpool are one of only six clubs to have won all of their opening eight matches of a top-flight season in England.

Saturday's 2-1 victory over Leicester City, courtesy of a James Milner penalty deep into injury time, means Jurgen Klopp's side have matched a feat the club first achieved back in 1991.

It also stretches Liverpool's run to 17 consecutive league victories, putting them just one short of matching the record set by Pep Guardiola's Manchester City between August and December two years ago.

City have never opened a season with eight wins in a row, though. Chelsea, Manchester United, Tottenham, Sheffield United and Everton are the only teams apart from Liverpool to have managed that.

Surprisingly, such a start has mostly led to an unsuccessful bid to win the top-flight title.

Of the seven occasions that a team has won eight from eight at the start of the season, only twice has that side gone on to become champions of England in that same campaign.

Chelsea managed it under Jose Mourinho in 2005-06, but you have to go back to 1961 for the only other instance, when Tottenham won their second and most recent league title.

In 1991, Liverpool finished second to Arsenal after their perfect start, while Manchester United could only manage fourth after winning their first 10 in a row in 1985-86.

Sheffield United ended up down in seventh after storming to eight straight wins to kick off the campaign back in 1904, and Everton were league runners-up to Sunderland in 1894-95.

Can Liverpool buck this trend in 2019-20? Their first game after the international break might give some indication, when they will look to match City's 18-match winning run – by beating Manchester United at Old Trafford.

Liverpool needed a James Milner penalty deep in second-half stoppage time to edge to a 2-1 victory over Leicester City as they were made to sweat for their eighth consecutive Premier League win of the season.

James Maddison's second-half strike cancelled out Sadio Mane's first-half opener at Anfield where Milner converted a spot-kick, much to the relief of Jurgen Klopp and an expectant home crowd.

The pressure on Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino increased after his side were beaten 3-0 by Brighton, leaving the Champions League finalists with a record of two wins and three defeats from their last seven Premier League games.

Watford's wait for a first win of the season goes on after their goalless draw with Sheffield United, but there were victories elsewhere for Burnley and Aston Villa - the latter subjecting Norwich City to a humiliating 5-1 home defeat.

TOUGHEST TEST YET FOR HIGH-FLYING REDS

It looked like another comfortable game in prospect for Liverpool when Mane rolled in the opening goal five minutes before half-time against Leicester.

But the Foxes had only been beaten once this season before arriving on Merseyside and they matched the league leaders for long spells before Maddison made their pressure count by rattling an equaliser into the net 10 minutes from time.

Liverpool attempted 11 second-half shots to Leicester's two but remained on course to drop points for the first time this season until Marc Albrighton fouled Mane in the box with the clock ticking down.

Milner swept the ensuing penalty into the net to maintain the Reds' 100 per cent record ahead of second-placed Manchester City's clash with Wolves on Sunday.

LLORIS FORCED OFF AS SPURS' SLUMP CONTINUES

Tottenham's afternoon got off to a terrible start when goalkeeper Hugo Lloris gifted Neal Maupay with Brighton's opening goal and then had to be taken off on a stretcher with a serious arm injury.

Mauricio Pochettino's men, still smarting from a 7-2 Champions League thumping by Bayern Munich and a run of one win in their previous five matches, found themselves trailing by two after 32 minutes when Aaron Connolly scored his first senior goal for Brighton in his first Premier League start.

The visitors came out looking bright after the interval as they attempted to break the storm clouds gathering over their coach's head but mustered just two shots on target in a tepid second half.

Brighton, meanwhile, continued to probe and press for openings, and Connolly scored the pick of the goals after 65 minutes to wrap up a memorable afternoon for him and a first league win for the Seagulls since the opening day.

WESLEY BAGS BRACE FOR RAMPANT VILLA

The last time Aston Villa scored five goals in a Premier League away match was in April 2008 but they achieved the feat again in a 5-1 demolition of sorry Norwich City.

Dean Smith's men won just one of their opening seven league games this season but raced into a two-goal lead at Carrow Road within half an hour, thanks to Wesley's sharp shooting.

The Brazilian forward then missed a penalty but a superb second-half display from the visitors ensured it mattered not, with Jack Grealish and Conor Hourihane doubling Villa's lead before Douglas Luiz gave the travelling supporters a moment to treasure.

The 21-year-old received the ball 20 yards from goal and guided a curling shot into the top corner of Michael McGovern's net and, although Josip Drmic bagged a consolation for the Canaries, it was Villa's fans who went home smiling.

Jurgen Klopp was furious with Hamza Choudhury for a late challenge on Mohamed Salah that saw the Liverpool winger hobble out of his side's Premier League win against Leicester City. 

Liverpool snatched a last-gasp victory at home to Leicester through James Milner's 95th-minute penalty, moving eight points clear of champions Manchester City ahead of their fixture at home to Wolves on Sunday. 

The award of the stoppage-time spot-kick was hotly contested by Leicester, but VAR sided with referee Chris Kavanagh after Marc Albrighton tangled with Sadio Mane, who earlier opened the scoring before James Maddison's equaliser. 

Rather than discuss the decisive call of the contest, though, Klopp preferred to focus on Choudhury's rash lunge on Salah, for which the midfielder earned only a yellow card. 

Klopp cited an earlier incident involving Newcastle United’s Matt Ritchie as he questioned Choudhury's intentions in a clash with Salah that left Liverpool waiting for news on their star man. 

"It was a clear penalty, I stand here and should be only happy because of the way the boys did it," he told Sky Sports, adding: "But I cannot get over the Choudhury yellow card. 

"He should know better. He maybe was unlucky with Ritchie, but he has to calm down. You cannot only go for the man, a yellow card. 

"Mo is lying in the dressing room. How can he be okay? We don't know how he is, but that's hard. 

"Three years in a row, we've been the team with the lowest yellow cards, we don't do these things. But that's really not okay." 

Choudhury was sent off for England Under-21s at the European Championships in June following an awful challenge on France's Jonathan Bamba, who suffered ankle ligament damage. 

The Leicester midfielder was then only booked for a tackle on Newcastle’s Ritchie in August which Steve Bruce described as a "horror challenge", with the Scotland international still out of action. 

Salah had been set for a period of rest during the upcoming international break regardless, with Egypt confirming his absence from their upcoming camp. 

"The technical team of the national team confirmed the decision to exempt Liverpool star Mohamed Salah from joining the current camp with the desire to rest him and ease the burden of games in this period in order to recover and get rid of the stress resulting from his successive participation with his club, so that he is in full physical and mental health to participate in the next official commitments," a statement from the Egyptian Football Association read. 

Sadio Mane scored his 50th Premier League goal for Liverpool in Saturday's clash with Leicester City at Anfield.

The Senegal star reached the milestone on his 100th league appearance for the club, racing onto James Milner's pass and slotting beyond Kasper Schmeichel.

Mane's average of a goal every two games for the Reds underlines his impressive form in his three years since joining from Southampton.

The goal also means Liverpool now have 10 different players to reach 50 in the Premier League, which is more than any other club can boast.

So, how does Mane compare to Liverpool stars past and present in terms of how quickly he reached his half-century? Here are the 10 in full...

10. Steven Gerrard

Liverpool's former captain (and, for many, their greatest ever player) scored his 50th Premier League goal on his 281st appearance, in a shock 3-1 loss to Reading in December 2007. Unsurprisingly, he is the only midfielder on this list.

9. Dirk Kuyt

A forward better known for selflessness than single-mindedness in front of goal, Kuyt reached 50 on his 194th league game for the Reds in a 3-0 win at Wolves in January 2012.

8. Roberto Firmino

Mane's team-mate Firmino reached his half-century in the 3-0 win at Burnley in August – his 141st game in England's top flight.

7. Daniel Sturridge

So often sidelined by injury, Sturridge was a ruthless finisher in his best days for Liverpool and scored his 50th Premier League goal in his 103rd outing, firing in a stunning equaliser away to Chelsea last September.

6. Sadio Mane

Mane's composed finish against Leicester brought up his 50th goal in his 100th game, taking him to eight for the season in all competitions.

5. Michael Owen

The 'Boy Wonder' scored his 50th league goal in just 98 appearances, reaching the tally in a six-goal thriller away to Southampton in August 2000.

4. Robbie Fowler

Fowler needed only 88 games to score 50 times in the Premier League. Fans have fond memories of this particular one, as it came in a 2-0 win over Manchester United in December 1995.

3. Luis Suarez

Suarez struck his 47th, 48th, 49th and 50th Premier League goals in his 86th game. He then set up Raheem Sterling to net the fifth in that memorable 5-1 defeat of Norwich City in December 2013, capping one of the finest individual displays the league has ever seen.

2. Fernando Torres

Scoring 50 goals in just 72 games underlines how devastating Torres was at his peak. His 50th came in December 2009 to secure a 1-0 win at Aston Villa. It looked a record unlikely to be beaten...

1. Mohamed Salah

Salah raced to 50 goals in just 69 games for Liverpool – an astonishing return for a single club surpassed only by Ruud van Nistelrooy for Manchester United (68 games) and Alan Shearer for Blackburn Rovers (66). It came in a 3-1 win over Southampton last April.

James Milner scored a 95th-minute penalty to extend Liverpool's winning run to 17 Premier League matches in a dramatic 2-1 victory over Leicester City at Anfield.

The Reds looked set to ease to victory after Sadio Mane marked his 100th league appearance for the club with his 50th goal five minutes before half-time, but Jurgen Klopp's men missed chance after chance to extend their lead.

And Leicester, having scarcely threatened, struck through James Maddison with 10 minutes remaining as Foxes boss Brendan Rodgers threatened to end the Reds' streak on his first return to Merseyside since his departure in 2015.

However, there was time for late drama as Mane won a penalty having been clipped by Marc Albrighton moments after Mohamed Salah hobbled off with an ankle issue, allowing Milner to net a last-gasp winner.

Liverpool have now triumphed in 17 consecutive top-flight matches - one short of the all-time record - and lead Manchester City by eight points in the table ahead of the champions' Sunday meeting with Wolves.

Neymar may not have secured his return to Barcelona, but the Paris Saint-Germain star's future continues to make headlines.

The Brazil forward was keen on making a Barca comeback, two years after his world-record transfer to the French capital.

But as Antoine Griezmann struggles to settle in at Camp Nou, the Frenchman could see himself shipped out to make way for Neymar.

 

TOP STORY – NEYMAR & GRIEZMANN IN SWAP DEAL

Barcelona are considering the possibility of sending Griezmann to Paris Saint-Germain for Neymar, claims Le10Sport.

Neymar was unable to secure a return to Barca during the transfer window following his €222million exit in 2017.

But as Griezmann – who only arrived from LaLiga rivals Atletico Madrid in the off-season – finds it difficult to settle and develop a relationship with Lionel Messi, the Barca recruit is being talked about as a possible makeweight.

 

ROUND-UP

- Leicester City star James Maddison is Tottenham's number one target to replace soon-to-be free agent Christian Eriksen, according to the Daily Star. Maddison has also been linked to Premier League rivals Manchester United.

Real Madrid could trigger Atletico Madrid goalkeeper Jan Oblak's €120m release clause as Thibaut Courtois struggles at the Santiago Bernabeu, according to ElDesmarque.

- The front page of Corriere dello Sport says Lazio have signed star midfielder Sergej Milinkovic-Savic to a new contract until 2024. The deal, worked out in secret for another season, appears to end speculation of a move to the likes of InterUnited, Real Madrid, Juventus or Paris Saint-Germain.

Gennaro Gattuso could make a sensational return to AC Milan, but only in an unlikely scenario. Amid mounting pressure on coach Marco Giampaolo, El Corriere claims Gattuso – who stepped down at the end of 2018-19 – would make his way back to San Siro if directors Paolo Maldini and Zvonimir Boban quit.

- The Express says Chelsea will offer Willian a new contract amid links to LaLiga champions Barcelona. It comes as the Evening Standard reports the Blues will reward Tammy Abraham and Fikayo Tomori with fresh deals.

- Could Carlo Ancelotti leave Napoli at the end of the season? Corriere dello Sport suggests the Italian head coach could depart if results do not improve. Napoli are already six points adrift of Serie A leaders Inter.

- Marca says Manchester United are keeping an eye on Mexico international Jose Juan Macias. The 20-year-old Leon forward scored his first international goal on debut for El Tri on Wednesday.

- Ernesto Valverde's future as Barcelona boss is far from certain and with that in mind, TNT Sport reports that River Plate coach Marcelo Gallardo is the club's first choice.

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